Talking Sex Rehab With Jill Vermeire – Finale

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Licensed marriage and family therapist Jill Vermeire was on hand during the filming of Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew, bringing her clinical expertise to the world of reality TV. She’s agreed to lend us her perspective on the show’s shoot, as well as the rehabilitation of the cast. Below, Jill talks about the show’s season finale and the cast of patients’ progress since taping the show.

Drew announced that you were running the aftercare program. How has that been?

They were given the opportunity to do two months with me, doing lots of group and individual therapy, as well as getting psychiatric care from Dr. Reef Karim at the Control Center, which is his out-patient center for behavioral addictions. It went really well. That was only for two months after the show, and it’s been eight months since we shot it, so after that period that VH1 paid for, I continued to see Jennie. She’s so committed to her recovery, and because she’s making such a transition in her career and the financial repercussions are pretty extreme, I see her weekly for free, and so does Dr. Karim. I see Duncan. Kendra has agoraphobia, which means she has a hard time leaving the house, so I do home visits with her and Lukas. That’s also pro bono. I’ve also done phone and text check-ins with Kari Ann, James, Phil and Amber. Nicole and James were the only two that didn’t agree to participate in the aftercare – Kari Ann obviously wasn’t there – but Nicole recently reached out to me and I offered her support and resources. She’s feeling like she’s ready to do some work. James travels. He’s all over the world doing his surfing and skim boarding. We’ve chatted and texted here and there when he’s needed a pep talk. You know, three weeks is nothing. The three weeks they were there, I was there every single day, there was not a day off for the clinical team. It was 15 hours a day, seven days a week for three weeks. We did a lot of really good clinical work in that time, but there is no sober living for sex addiction, at least none in California that I’m aware of. VH1 considered setting up a sober living, but because it’s a less structured environment, there’d need to be separate male and female houses, which they just weren’t able to do. The clients said they wanted to keep working with me because we had bonded so closely. I figured that since the Control Center was opening, it would be great if we could bring them in, since I’m running the sex addiction program there. I told them I could refer them to someone else that might fit their needs or if they wanted to work with a male or whatever, because it’s not about me: it’s about what’s best for them. Phil and Amber both see Dr. Karim. They are all somehow still doing some form of treatment, eight months later.

Does anyone stand out as doing particularly well?

Jennie has made the biggest transformation. She has not gone back to the adult industry. The transition from being in adult entertainment to something else is really hard. The financial piece is hard to deal with. Jennie has eight, eight-and-a-half months of sobriety from sex, drugs and alcohol. She’s finding ways to support herself that don’t involve shaming or degrading herself. She’s really the one whose transformation has been the most extreme. Duncan is doing really well. I know he has his blog and puts out there whatever he’s thinking or feeling, but I think that’s the Duncan way. I really respect him. Kendra is making huge amounts of progress. She struggled a bit after the show, but she’s back on board. She’s sober. She and Lukas are working on getting healthier little by little. Phil…I think he still wants to work on his recovery. Because I’m not still working with him, I’m not sure where he is with that, but I’ve seen him. He seems like he’s doing really well. I know he’s still working on himself. Nicole…I don’t know where she’s at. When I saw her at Loveline a few weeks ago, she looked great and she said she was doing really well. I think she’s working on a book. We had talked about some of the recovery programs before and I gave her some resources and she’s checking it out. I know she’s contemplating some of that. As for Kari Ann, all I know is she texted me last week and said she shaved a Mohawk in her hair. And then she texted me pictures.

How’s she look?

She pulls it off. They were professional pictures. She’s really a beautiful girl and she photographs well. She texts me. We’re trying to make some time to at least touch base, so I can see where she’s at and offer her some help and support, which I’m always willing to do. I’ve been really vocal about that. We’ll see what happens. I don’t know where James is. He’s all over the world. He’s been in good spirits, I know that. He’s been in touch. I don’t remember the last time I saw Amber. It was maybe a month and a half ago. She told me she made a lot of progress. And, by the way, I like the word “progress,” because this process isn’t about being perfect or without flaws or 100 percent whatever. It’s about progress, not perfection, and progress is different for everybody, depending where they’re starting from. Amber’s making progress. Her behaviors are improving. Aside from Kari Ann, whom I haven’t talked to about anything but her hair really, everyone’s made progress since the show. That’s the good news. It was hard for me to decide to do a show like this. It’s reality TV and you know you have to make peace between the TV component and the therapy component. But the big picture is that I’ve received thousands of emails from people: “Thank you so much,” “You’ve helped me so much,” “Now I have a name for this,” “I’m ready to get help because of what I saw on the show.” I was prepared for the criticism and the negative reactions, because people make decisions based only what they see on TV. They’re only shown little snippets of things. But the overall picture makes me really happy. According to the emails I’ve received, we really have helped a lot of people. More specifically, we’ve helped these clients. They’re all, in my opinion, making progress, and that’s the most you can ever hope for.

Learn more about Jill and sex addiction at her website, and follow her on Twitter.

Related content
Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew show page
Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew videos and extras

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  1. Sergio says:

    Jill,

    You failed to address any of the critical comments from last week. Your silence tells me that the critical posts were dead on. This show failed.

  2. Jen Diggity says:

    I thought this show was going to be a ridiculous, sensationalized piece of television crap, but it really surprised me with how genuine it was. I think there are a lot of people out there who were forced to take a good, hard look at their own sexual issues and perhaps will even change because of that reflection and what it can make you realize about your own behaviors. I am grateful that the MTV empire would put out a show like this (and Celeb Rehab) that are clearly a far cry from the silly reality shows we’re used to seeing from them. Kudos to everyone involved in making this happen. This show most certainly did NOT fail.

  3. Aly says:

    Sergio, get over yourself. Negative comments have been addressed all along. This being the final episode, the focus should have been and was on the participants and where they are now. The show may have “failed” you as a viewer, but apparently the experiences were beneficial to the people who were actually there, especially Jennie. Most people want to know how they are doing, not listen to Jill address the same BS from the peanut gallery for the upteenth time. The post show results speak louder than than the heavily edited content of the TV show.

  4. Sunsett says:

    I’ve learned so much from watching both the Rehab series. Addiction is a sneaky thing.. you think you are enjoying life only to find it is secretly destroying your self worth and hope. I found it facinating to learn, listen, and be hopeful for those who opened themselves up so that we could experience their struggles and at the same time, it taught me something about myself and my family. I admire and thank the participants and staff for their courage to open themselves up and hope they will continue to focus on being well and happy.

  5. Denise says:

    I really don’t like the way Selma was treated, especailly when Karrie Anne could not be seen as a credible person. She could’t even get up to attend group. She is not trying to get well. I will not watch this show again.

  6. Dublin says:

    Ok this show lost ALL credibility with me and ALOT of people when the commercials are “onlinebootycall.com” are you frickin serious…sex web sites advertising on a sex addiction show. Now I’ve posted a comment about this a few days ago. And my comments were removed. Lets see if VH1 removes my comments again.

  7. Drayke says:

    @Dublin: That’s understandably irritating, and I have noticed similar things about other shows. Keep in mind however that those who actually made this show and put the work into helping the patients have zero control or advanced warning of what advertisements will be shown in conjunction with their show.

  8. Daniel says:

    Jill,

    You are the hottest therapist I have ever seen. What lengths does a man have to go through in order to enjoy the privilege of dating you? You can take half of my income, half my possessions, and the entirety of my affections. They are all yours. Jill, will you please take my last name? Will you please bear my offspring?

  9. Mia says:

    Hi there question is on the following show….
    is there going to be a “sober house”
    for the sex rehab show
    like for the celebrity rehab of last year?
    thansk again Mia

  10. puckerupAmerica says:

    VH1,

    Be completely hypocritical and make sure you follow up with that series “Sex: The Revolution.”
    Isn’t it ironic – a show that glorifies the ‘sexual’ revolution and then abortion ‘rights’ to clean up the mess is still rolling on this channel after airing your little attempt to help disillusioned sex patients???
    That series does nothing but provide proof of the stupidity of that time and what a pimple on the butt of humanity that generation represents… Hint: stop running it.

  11. Stefan says:

    I’m from Sweden. I’ve watched all the previous shows.
    This one was obviously very different due to the nature of sex addiction.
    Even though sex addicts are as messed up as drug addicts I think it’s
    fair to say that the actual addiction is less deadly – in the sense
    that the struggle for life is often less literal and acute than with
    drug addiction. But that also means that the psychological and
    existential struggle (although not necessarily the underlying problem)is
    more visible. I think that is where a lot of the shame comes from.

    Rehab is a great serie. Very interesting and engaging. What I
    don’t like is the loud no-attention-span-friendly production – the
    ridiculously fast tempo, the garish visual style and all the dramaturgic
    efforts made to emphasize the drama (including the sound effects and all
    the previews). Please VH1, I don’t care if you call it American, modern
    or Xtreme, cut the crap. Less MTV, more BBC.

  12. Dr. Wise says:

    You have to take entertainment with a grain of salt. While there is excellent coverage of the issue and what the “patients” are feeling, this is still television and there are reels upon reels of film that are cut, edited, and put together to keep the typical audience happy. That means added drama…and with actors, drama comes in droves. This doesn’t mean they can’t receive a benefit, it’s that the benefit is drowned out by the need to keep an audience tuned in. That’s why most of the real work is done outside of the show and in an appropriate setting.

    Areas that the show might improve upon are discussing the types of therapeutic modalities being used. That way, the audience might have some additional insight into what is happening besides any insight into themselves.

    Dr. Wise

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